Attorney Daniel Hochheiser was recently hired to represent a Venezuelan tourist who had been wrongfully accused of shoplifting at Macy's. The woman claimed that she had been handcuffed, detained for hours, urged to sign a confession and even pay a fine of $500—all while her 12-year-old son waited for her in the store, unaware of where she had gone. She was then charged with a misdemeanor shoplifting offense, which could have landed her in jail for up to three months. Fortunately, she had our New York City criminal defense lawyer, Dan Hochheiser, on her side.
According to Mr. Hochheiser, this was likely a case of racial profiling. While trying on clothes at the store, his client had words with an impolite fitting room attendant. "She stuck up for herself, and they didn't appreciate that a foreigner was actually going to talk back to them," explains Dan. His client isn't the only one who has fallen prey to Macy's questionable interrogation methods, either. Robert Brown, an African American actor, said he was held for nearly an hour and grilled by employees about a $1,300 watch that he had purchased for his mother. He, along with eight others, have filed lawsuits.
Fortunately, Mr. Hochheiser's client was acquitted of the charges. He is hoping that this case will prompt Macy's to make more dramatic changes to the way that they address potential shoplifters. Not only was his client targeted because of her ethnicity, but she was prohibited from contacting her son for several hours while she sat in a store holding cell. It wasn't until closing time that the boy was found and taken to a security office, which is simply inexcusable. If you are interested in learning more about Attorney Hochheiser's involvement in this case, you can read the full story on NBC.